Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
I would encourage you to ask any non-accountant what a CPA is or what they know about it, and I guarantee you almost anybody you ask will know exactly what it stands for and they will likely tell you that they heard it is a hard exam. The CPA, which is technically a license, is arguably one of the most well known of the best accounting certifications, and it’s certainly one of the most well respected.
If you were to tell me that you wanted to either work in an accounting firm as an auditor or tax accountant, then I would highly recommend obtaining your CPA license. In many cases, your upward advancement in an accounting firm is going to depend on your ability to obtain the CPA license.
If you told me your career goal was to become a Chief Financial Officer (CFO), Controller, or Director of Accounting, then I would also highly encourage you to obtain your CPA license. Typically, these positions, or the ones leading up to them, are going to require that you have your CPA license.
Related: Best CPA Review Courses
Example Stories: Certified Public Accountant (CPA) Importance
I like real world stories to help showcase things. That said, I’ll tell you a couple hiring stories about former colleagues of mine. Keep in mind that my background is Big-4 accounting (one of the largest firms in the world). I worked at KPMG for a long time and left there as a Manager to pursue my passion of helping others achieve their educational and career goals. While at KPMG, I worked with a lot of people and got to watch just about all of them hit the job market at one point or another. It was and still is a lot of fun watching them accept amazing jobs in the accounting profession. Well, most of them accepted amazing jobs, but not all.
By far, the people who had their CPA, found excellent positions in a very short period of time. The demand was and still is extremely high for accountants, but especially ones with their CPA. Think about it, if you were a hiring manager and had two identical candidates applying for a position. Would you hire the one that has their CPA license or the one that doesn’t? This is assuming their experience, schooling, personality, etc. are all identical. More times than not, the person with the CPA license will win out during the hiring process.
I watched my colleagues with their CPA license apply for and accept positions across the board and one even accepted a CFO position. I’m talking people in their late 20’s becoming Directors, CFOs, etc. Most of them are really knocking their careers out of the park.
There is always a flip side though. I’ve also seen colleagues without their CPA license really struggle to find a job. One particular individual was on the market for upwards of 6 months. That person was constantly being asked about why he didn’t have his CPA license, and to this day it is still an issue for him.
I could literally write a 5,000 word article on just the CPA license, but long story short, the CPA license is incredibly powerful and is an accounting certification / license you should really consider getting.
One last quick thing on the CPA. Don’t let people talking about how hard the CPA exam scare you. With the right CPA Review Course and exam strategies, you can absolutely pass the CPA exam. A lot of people like to complain about it, but you CAN pass. I know people are nervous about the exam and some do struggle, that’s why I’m launching the CPA Exam Success Master Training. If you think the CPA might be the accounting certification for you, then I highly recommend checking out that training. It has the power to save you a lot of time and head aches.